A few weeks ago I wrote about the conflict of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, sponsors of Race for the Cure and other breast cancer awareness campaigns, funding Planned parenthood despite the fact that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms, the leading medical screen for breast cancer. Now Komen is having to respond to its public who wants to know where its cash is being funneled. It turns out, funnel is a good word because what begins in the wide top of Planned Parenthood runs down into community health clinics and other places that actually serve women with breast cancer by providing mammograms. This begs the obvious question: Why not just give the one directly to the programs that actually do the service?
Last year, Komen spokesman John Hammarley confirmed 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, in 2009, those contributions totaled $731,303. He also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.
While Komen tries to downplay the donations by noting only 19 affiliates give money to Planned Parenthood, the fact remains that it’s $730,303 dollars that those 19 affiliates are giving. That’s a lot of race entries to funnel money elsewhere, but that’s what Komen is finally admitting it’s doing. Life News quotes an email Komen is sending to people:
When a mammogram is indicated, a patient is often referred to a local program, such as the state’s breast and cervical cancer program. In other cases, the Komen Affiliate’s grant to Planned Parenthood may include funds to pay for mammograms outright. When this happens, a local provider performs the mammogram, and is then reimbursed by Planned Parenthood using the Komen grant funds.
This means that if you give money to Komen, or even do something as simple like participate in Race for the Cure where your money might go to Planned Parenthood, then you aren’t really helping poor women get breast cancer services anyway. Planned Parenthood will do the same basic check a doctor will do in any clinic, the free clinics, the sliding scale clinics of the upscale clinics—a basic breast cancer screen. If that very common screen indicates a woman needs a mammogram, they are sent elsewhere anyway.
Live Action makes a couple of points in its report on this twisted connection, asking:
Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms themselves. Why then is Komen giving grants to Planned Parenthood to then in turn pay non-Planned Parenthood health centers to provide mammograms? Why not grant funds directly to the centers performing mammograms?
Why is Komen’s giving to the largest abortion provider in the United States. Millions of pro-life women do not feel comfortable going to an abortion clinic to get non-abortion services. Why not give the funds to a non-controversial community health center that all women in the community feel comfortable visiting.
Why exactly? Even if people choose not to believe the science that abortion increases risk of breast cancer, many women would not go to a Planned Parenthood clinic, the number one abortion provider, to get a breast cancer screening anyway. And while the evidence is only anecdotal, the fact remains that many women, my personal friends among them, report being treated less than compassionately at Planned Parenthood facilities when they are not there for abortions. You can dispute this but it’s been reported so much that I wouldn’t step foot in there if I considered myself pro-choice unless I wanted and abortion, simply from the stories.
Komen is supposed to be all about positives. Its bold pink and classy races, its uplifting encouragement of survivor so breast cancer, honored at Race for the Cure and other events—everything Komen puts out there has a message of hope and help for women—except the Planned Parenthood tie. It’s just bad PR to mix these together from a business standpoint. People from both side of the abortion battle will give money to help fight cancer, but only one side is going to give money to an organization that funds abortion. It’s bad business, as well as moral, sense to fund Planned Parenthood.
You can contact Komen here. Tell them what you think. Let them see that it’s time for them to pull away from the death industry and not mix its message for life for women.